After getting past a certain age, you may start to notice that your dating options are shrinking. Your peers mature and already have children, and inevitably some relationships don’t work out. This creates a new subtype of people looking for relationships – women who already have children. This prompts the question:
Should you date a single mom?
Obviously the answer is not as binary as a simple yes or no, but rather depends on the circumstance and your personality. While dating a single mom is undoubtedly more complicated and involves more work than a younger relationship, it may be worth the extra work since most single moms possess strong independent traits and prior dating experience. Thus, this article will try to help you determine whether or not a single mom is right for you.
Things you should know
First, let’s start off with the complications and reasons why you shouldn’t date a single mother. While some people may enjoy a strong independent woman with experience, it can be a turn off for others. In addition, the liability for having to care for a child that is not biologically theirs can often cause tension in a relationship, especially a fragile one. Furthermore, some people can find ways that single mothers act that would not fall in line with what they may expect from a “normal” relationship. Therefore, one should understand these complications and judge accordingly on whether or not such a relationship is right:
- The most common question/complaint about dating a single mom is implied in the name, what is it like dealing with someone else’s child? While this question differs from case to case, generally, it is no different from occasionally seeing a younger cousin (and that is generally how you should act). However, if you plan to commit to a long term relationship (which most single moms are looking for), you should be prepared to love the child as your own. If you cannot see yourself doing this, it is almost certain that the relationship is going to fail. It is important to realise that, especially during the early dating phase, her kids matter much more than you and her life revolves around them. It is also common for kids to dislike you, since you are taking time away from their mother (don’t take it personally). While it can be a difficult task for some to accept someone else’s child, we suggest doing work/volunteer with youth to familiarize yourself with them.
- Furthermore, the generally mature and strong personalities of single mothers can be polarizing for some people. Generally, this means that she doesn’t feel the need for a man’s protection in her life – but rather, would much prefer your love and undivided attention. Depending on who you are, you may prefer a warmer and innocent relationship (which is less frequent with single mothers) and this could be a turn off for you. The prior dating experience that she has means that she will probably be able to see through your bullshit, so don’t try the cringy teenage lovey dovey stuff. However, the fact that she is more independant is more often a relief, since she is less likely to require constant attention and will care less if you hang out with your friends more.
- With the time that being a single mom takes, along with the fact that she lives with her kid means that your sex lives may be impacted. Notably, most single mothers (64% according to our poll) are not willing to have sex in the same house as their kid’s. Thus, don’t be surprised or offended when she doesn’t want to take you back to her place after a great date – she’s probably just worried about her kid. Furthermore, the amount of stress and time that is required from a single mom means that she simply doesn’t have the time to mess around with you, which means that she has less time to be intimate. Instead, when dating a single mom, you should lower your expectations of sexual experiences, or at least the very least, the frequency.
Tips for Dating a Single Mother
So, you’ve read over the “things you should know” and decided to make the move. Now that you’ve made the commitment, you should also know some tips on how to maintain the quality of the relationship. Like the “things you should you” about dating a single mother, the defining characteristics of single mothers results in some quirks in a relationship. Here are some of the things you should watch out for:
- You are not her priority. That honor would almost always belong to her child. This means that you shouldn’t expect her to divert all her attention to you – doing so is unrealistic and a recipe for a quick breakup. Instead, respect her space and time (let her choose the times for dates), and she will do the same to yours. This also means that you have to be ok with that fact that she will keep in touch with her ex, as he is the biological father of the child and she is receiving child support from him.
- Dealing with a kid (if applicable). Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t want to introduce you to him/her right away either, it is much more of a commitment if she does. However, if she does decide to introduce you to her kid, this is a good sign that she believes in a long term relationship since she sees you as being worthy to be her kid’s parental figure now. Therefore, if you find yourself in this position, you should acknowledge that you will either be seen as a parental figure or a bad person to the kid, as you are taking time away from his/her mother. However, if her kid does like you, you should learn to take care of the kid to maintain the relationship.
- She is likely struggling financially. Between the work hours missed, baby supplies and hiring some form of a babysitter, taking care of a child as a single parent is expensive. This means that your gifts and donations – especially practical ones that a single mother can use (baby supplies, money) – are especially appreciated. Also, make sure to pay for the meal unless she explicitly states otherwise – trust us, she appreciates it.
- Make time for her, not the other way around. The excess stress and commitment that single mothers face means that they have to manage their time very carefully. As a result, you have to be more flexible with the time for dates and get togethers since she is likely squeezing that time from a very tight schedule. With single mothers, they tend to notice all the little things, whether that be good or bad, so make sure that you are doing everything correctly.
- Don’t play around. She simply doesn’t have the time or energy to figure out your immature puzzles. Be straightforward with your actions and words and state your intentions upfront, if you want to marry her, you can say it in the first few dates. You can also hang out with female friends and single mothers are mature enough to not care, however, never cheat on her in any way (as with all relationships)
At the end of the day, dating a single mother is like dating any other woman, but with independent characteristics and comes with a child. Since this may not be for everyone, you should know what you are getting yourself into before trying to initiate a serious relationship. That being said, whilst in a relationship, understand that she has more important things to worry about than you, so this gives you a certain degree of freedom, but it also means that you should expect less intimacy. While it is a bad idea to immediately assume the role of the child’s father, which will likely be met with backlash, you should take the time to get to know the kid. Finally, single mothers are more appreciative of the generous donations of time and money since many lack that in their lives. Know these tips and good luck to all of you dating single moms!